HCP are busier than ever. Between seeing patients and staying up to date on the innovations in the field, they do not have much time left. So, sales reps must optimize their virtual meetings to spark maximum interest.
COVID has pushed forward the pharmaceutical industry’s digital shift. Virtual meetings became more recurrent, over face-to-face interactions. According to a recent study by Accenture, during the pandemic, 65% of meetings were virtual. Whereas before most interactions were held in person (64%).
Overall, virtual meetings have increased in number. And so, you must be ready to optimize their potential. For that we have gathered for you resourceful tips that will help you ace your virtual meetings:
1 – Data and a more personalized approach
HCP don’t have much time. But they still want to make most of it to educate themselves on new drugs and products that are more appropriate to their patients’ needs. And so, sales reps must personalize their approach. Optimizing, then their time with the HCP.
Studies show that companies that leverage data with content and service have higher sales rates. By doing this, pharma companies can outperform their competitors by 85%. As they strive to know their customers to personalize both their products and service.
This data can be collected from the different digital and non-digital channels your company uses to target HCP. These can be, for example, sales and correspondence emails, website traffic, and content engagement. Through this data you can assess:
- The HCP’s areas of interest and needs;
- HCP’s availability and preferred channels for communication;
- HCP’s geographical location; and
- The products that are most popular among your target audience.
You have to keep in mind that your HCP will have been contacted by other companies. So, ensure in your virtual meetings that you personalize your approach. And, simultaneously stand out from the competition by sharing your product’s value effectively.
2 – Time Management
Even though the pandemic brought a decrease in physical patient appointments, HCP still maintain a busy schedule as these transferred to digital platforms. Time management is then important to physicians and sales reps alike.
A recent Healthcasts study has concluded that HCP engaged with their content the most between 6 to 9 p.m. Meaning, this is the time that physicians are keener to expand their knowledge on the latest happenings in the field.
So, it is within this time frame that you should, for instance, target HCP with emails. This presents a good opportunity for you to have their attention and most likely obtain a response. It will further help you to work around the HCP’s schedules.
By managing both your time and that of your customers, you can attend to their needs. While optimizing the response of your interactions and, consequently, virtual meetings.
3 – Visual aids for greater HCP engagement
HCP are digital natives. And digital tools have become part of their workplace. Therefore, physicians expect greater interactivity and innovation in the way they are approached by sales reps. Visual aids have become an integral component in HCP engagement and interaction.
The same Healthcasts study has shared that HCP are now more likely to watch videos as a way to learn about the new drugs on the market.
Academic papers are still valued. Nonetheless, videos are good complementary digital tools that help sales reps add value to their virtual meetings. Through them, you can:
- Increase engagement;
- Share insightful data on a drug’s mechanism of action (MoA);
- Share the components of your product; and
- Enhance the benefits and quality of your offer.
Customers that consume information through video retain 95% of the intended message. So, by including video in your virtual meetings, you can optimize impact and engagement. Further being able to share your message in a more concise fashion while sparking interest in your prospective customer.
Why not take a step forward?
Some companies have moved toward this direction and created tools for sales reps to use. BlueNovius, for example, presents PubExplainer as a solution. Through it, you can translate your complex scientific data into easy-to-understand videos that will help you guide the HCP through a product’s life cycle.
4 – Move beyond the product
One does not buy a product merely for its functionality. Prospect customers look for an augmented product that will meet their needs and create an emotional connection. Sales reps ought, then, to consider this.
Virtual meetings should not only be about your product but move beyond that. The average duration of these is 133% higher than those held face-to-face. Lasting around 14 minutes, these allow sales reps to:
- Present a product that fits the customer’s needs;
- Share the company’s values;
- Show the goals and motivations behind what the company does;
- Share resources and case studies.
If exploring other topics, HCP are provided with a more valuable and insightful experience. By sharing your knowledge and values, you can enhance your credibility as a brand while adding worth to what you have to offer.
5 – Follow-up on the meeting
After a virtual meeting, it is important to continue communication with the HCP. You ought to make sure your prospective customer continues interested in your product. Emails are, then, a great tool to follow up on virtual meetings.
Follow-up emails are important as they let you in on the flow of an HCP’s schedule. Knowing that they are busy, reaching them through email is a quick way to connect. While allowing the necessary time for a response.
Over 30% of emails sent from sales reps to HCP are opened, compared to 3% if sent from a general corporate channel (Veeva). So, if a sales rep sends it directly to the physician it can:
- Thank it for the time spent and consideration of your product;
- Reference a specific topic discussed in the meeting that might have sparked particular interest;
- Share resources and examples if offered.
As you follow up on your meeting, you can optimize its impact on the HCP. Thus, paving the way for a channel of continuing communication. Such an approach can influence a customer’s decisions and improve overall service.